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Thanksgiving travel in the middle of a global health crisis

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 10:37 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Around this time last year, ticketing counters at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport were completely packed. A day Thanksgiving it was looking like a ghost town. As a result of high-risk levels for COVID-19, holiday travel is looking completely different.

Days leading to thanksgiving are known to be one of the busiest times for travel at the airport. Spokesperson Brian Kulpin said last year the airport had more than 13,000 travelers coming in and going out on Wednesday they had nearly half the amount as a result of this pandemic.

“We are not pressuring anyone to jump on a plane, but if you need to travel and want to travel, we have the cleanest and safest airport we possibly can,” said Kulpin.

Kulpin said since the pandemic started back in March they have drastically increased their cleaning and enforcing masks and social distancing. For travelers like Stacey Ingrisano, she is taking a flight to see her mom who she hasn’t seen for nearly 7 months.

“On one hand you are worried about being politically correct, being safe and respectful to others who want to be safe, on the other hand, you can’t help yourself,” said Ingrisano.

Last year, Kulpin said the airport nearly ran out of parking due to the high volume of travelers, this year they have plenty of parking available. Dean Howard visited Reno from San Diego, he said the Biggest Little City is not the only place where airports are looking empty

“It was in San Diego, which is a pretty busy airport, very light traffic,” Howard said.

If you do plan on traveling during this holiday season, Kulpin is advising travelers to bring hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to have a piece of mind and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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